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Automation & Motion Control
Robotic Bugs Tested for Tactical Operations
4/6/2012

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The six-legged RHex robot moves like a cockroach over a wide variety of rough terrain, and can climb telephone poles and stairs.   (Source: Boston Dynamics)
The six-legged RHex robot moves like a cockroach over a wide variety of rough terrain, and can climb telephone poles and stairs.
(Source: Boston Dynamics)

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Cabe Atwell
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Cabe Atwell   5/20/2014 11:49:21 PM
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DARPA has some of the strangest robots designed for use in the combat theater and they will only become stranger as time goes on. As far as robot bugs go, I think spiders would frighten me enough to drop my weapon and run away.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Rob Spiegel   4/20/2012 11:15:16 AM
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Good points, Tool maker. I believe you say it all in your first paragraph. Given two opponents with equal determination and commitment, technology wins. 

Tool_maker
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Tool_maker   4/20/2012 9:45:41 AM
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Rob I normally do not like to comment on references to wars, but you touched a sore spot here. For a war to be won; first tehr must be a clear cut objective and then there must be either an adversary willing to admt defeat or the total anihilation one side. I do not care if it is sticks against bombs, if the sticks are willing to wait long enough, centuries even, eventually the bombs will tire of the effort, declare victory and go away.

Guerilla tactics cannot win a war, it can merely prolong it until the other side tires of the exercise. Robert E. Lee saw that when he commanded the south to drop their weapons and go home, rather than continue to fight on a guerilla basis.

The anihilation tactic was evident in WW II. The Japanese had vowed to fight to "the last man" and the US demonstrated not only the ability, but perhaps even the willingness to kill the last man when Truman ordered the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Only then did the Japanese government call an end to hostilities.

The reason for the ineveitable outcomes in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan is because there are factions in each that are/were willing to wait as long as necessary while random bombings, suicide attacks and various similar tactics break down the will of the outsider's populace to support the activity.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Ann R. Thryft   4/17/2012 1:01:09 PM
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Rob, the two pieces already exist but you're right, putting them together is still hypothetical.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Rob Spiegel   4/16/2012 12:58:46 PM
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My goodness, Ann. That's an impressive development. So potentially, a robotic earthworm could be created that would mimic two major aspects of an earthworm: the ability to burrow underground and the ability to process underground material into rich earth.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Ann R. Thryft   4/16/2012 12:55:03 PM
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I'm not so sure that making topsoil from trash is a joke. A couple of different microbes have been discovered that can or have the promise to, digest plastic and make it compostable. Theoretically, armed with some kind of delivery mechanism, robotic earthworms could then make that idea a reality.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Rob Spiegel   4/11/2012 2:03:00 PM
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I understand, Ann. I'm just surprised the concept is getting tossed around. That proposed idea is an interesting application for robotic earthworms. I would certainly guess the notion of it making topsoil from trash is a joke. But who knows, it might show up sometime as a trash mining apparatus.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Ann R. Thryft   4/11/2012 1:54:33 PM
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I thought you'd like these. Of course, a prediction isn't by any means a set of schematics, but it will be interesting to see if anyone takes them up on that idea and starts working on one.


Rob Spiegel
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Rob Spiegel   4/11/2012 1:22:40 PM
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That's pretty good, Ann. Forecast number four is robotic earthworms. My goodness. They take it a step further, having the robotic earthworms digest the trash to make topsoil. That's great.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robotic bugs surprising
Ann R. Thryft   4/11/2012 12:53:13 PM
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OK, Rob, you got me curious. Wouldn't you know, there's a combination of predictions from the World Future Society about robotic earthworms for landfills to help with biodegradability and extracting metals and plastics (Forecast #4--the whole list is interesting):

http://www.wfs.org/content/press-room/futurist-magazine-releases-its-top-ten-forecasts-for-2012-and-beyond

as well as actual work from a few years back:

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1521789&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fiel5%2F10204%2F32545%2F01521789.pdf

http://www.engadget.com/2006/06/20/new-robot-does-the-worm-for-real/

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-3190/2/2/S05;jsessionid=A291C1B853B1821FD8F6F22CB9DADFE7.c1


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